This topic contains 43 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Ange 2 months, 2 weeks ago.
August 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm #698623
I recently started a new job three weeks ago and feel like maybe I made a mistake accepting. It is a admin assistant position at a civil engineering firm. My position is basically brand new. They created it because supposedly three engineers there needed help with paperwork. They told me in the interview that there would be very little down time. Well that is far from the truth.
Since I’ve started the three engineers have barely given me anything to work on. The only people giving me work is the office manager and the CFO. A huge majority of the time I sit there bored to tears. To make matters worse two of the engineers can barely talk to me. The female engineer hasn’t even checked in with me or given me one thing to do. She walks by my desk and won’t even look my direction or say hello. And the funny thing is that she is the one who advocated for my position to be created.
I decided to be the bigger person and check in with her two weeks ago. She was nice, but now acts like I’m a complete stranger. She’s pregnant so the office manager threw a surprise baby shower for her at work and I wasn’t invited. That hurt and made me feel even more like I don’t belong.
I feel like I am forgotten almost, like I don’t matter. Last Friday I came to the decision I was gonna quit and go back to working for my Dad. Working for my Dad was terrible though. He was verbally abusive to me and it was sometimes so hard to work with him. I wrote about it on here back in June. I talked to my Dad about it and he said I could come back, but I would have to stay permanently and not just quit again. That right there made me decide there is no way I am going back to working for my Dad.
So here I am stuck working in a job where my purpose there is unknown. Where my own superiors can’t even talk to me or act like a leader. Where I am left out of a baby shower for my boss. I feel like because I am not an engineer I am written off as non important.
I was going to talk about it with the office manager today because she has been assigned as my “adviser”, but I chickened out. I am afraid that might open a huge can of worms. Like I am tattle telling on my managers. I am also afraid they will start passive aggressively giving me work to do without direction because I demanded to be given more.
P.S. Does this webpage run painfully slow for anyone else? The ad’s on the side of the page keep reloading and it makes this run horribly slow. So if there are any spelling errors it is because I gave up waiting for this page to keep reloading.August 29, 2017 at 5:26 am #698631
Don’t quit and go back to being your dad’s bitch (for lack of a better word). I remember that letter, and just no. You’re a grown woman. You need to figure this out.
I started a new job last month and there wasn’t enough to do at first, so I understand the boredom. I just sat and read business and technology news on a feed, in between the actual things to do. I went out and walked around the neighborhood for little breaks. Things are starting to pick up now.
Here’s what you do: each day, wear an outfit that makes you feel professional and competent. Sit at your desk and drink a coffee and read some business and tech news and catch up on any emails. Be grateful you’re earning a paycheck and you’re not some indentured servant for Dad. You’re an adult woman in the world and you have options. Sit up straight. Take a walk around the place. Smile, make eye contact. Ask everyone what you can do to help. Get a nice salad. Refresh your lipstick. Remind yourself how great it is to have a job. Remind people again that you can’t wait to dive in. Read more news.
Casually mention to your advisor that you have time to help anyone with anything. If there’s an area where you could be of help but might just need a little bit of training to get started, you’d love to work on that!
If, after 3 months, you still feel like this, start looking again. Come back on here and we’ll come up with a strategy for that and for trying to make your current job work better for you.
Do not quit.
Also keep in mind that this is the deadest time of year other than Christmas week.August 29, 2017 at 5:31 am #698633
And finally, STOP taking everything personally. This isn’t about you as an individual.August 29, 2017 at 5:46 am #698637
A lot of jobs have a warming up period where you are slow at first and then things ramp up. People need time to understand the type of work you are able to do. You also need to be able to ask for work. If this position hasn’t existed before, then people are just used to doing things themselves, and they need to get used to the fact that someone else can pick up some of their load. I also agree with Kate that August is usually a super slow time of the year.
Three weeks is not very much time and despite your baby shower story, no one has been mean to you. The shower was probably planned before you even started and they also probably didn’t want you to feel pressured to buy a present for someone you didn’t really know. If you keep stopping by people’s offices and ask if there is anything you can do, things are likely to pick up. You need to give it longer than three weeks though.August 29, 2017 at 7:08 am #698642
I think you should schedule an appointment to meet individually with each of the engineers. Ask them how you can help them and how they prefer to have you manage their paperwork: what system are the using now, how would they like it to change, do you need to reorganize the system, if you are to manage incoming paper and e-mail what they need to see and how you should prioritize it.August 29, 2017 at 7:17 am #698644
Totally agree with what Kate said. Do not not not under any circumstances go back to work for your dad!August 29, 2017 at 10:32 am #698680
Hopefully your job will improve, but if they really don’t have anything for you to do you could consider it as being paid to sit at your desk looking for another job.August 29, 2017 at 10:51 am #698689
If you’re in a newly-created position, it might take awhile to get things ramped up because they’re not used to delegating tasks to someone in your shoes. My first job out of school was as an editorial assistant for a major textbook publisher. It was a newly-created job for us, and getting people to delegate meaningful tasks was difficult at times. I often felt bored, under-utilized, and under-appreciated. I stayed for about 2.5 years. During that time, I was able to position myself as the go-to coordinator for certain tasks/projects I enjoyed. It was never a job I truly loved, but in hindsight I think I could’ve taken way more initiative to make the job my own. So I’d encourage you to try to influence your role before you pick up and move on.August 29, 2017 at 11:13 am #698692
Definitely do not quit. There are worse things than having a lot of downtime while still getting paid. If nothing else, you are building a resume right now. Please follow the excellent advice everyone is giving you. (And, I agree that you weren’t being slighted by not being invited to the shower; they didn’t want you to start working and immediately feel pressured to give a baby gift to someone you barely know. Especially if that someone was your boss!)August 29, 2017 at 11:18 am #698695
It took about 9 months for my job to really pick up. And then it even has its ups and downs. Give it time.August 29, 2017 at 11:19 am #698697
DO NOT QUIT>
As an engineer myself, this may be a case of people not knowing HOW you can help them or being too shy to ask. This is where you come in. You already did a great thing by speaking with the one engineer and although she didn’t quite know what ‘to do with you’ it’s headway. Sometimes people are so busy (or tell themselves they are so busy’ that they don’t take the time to train other people to help them. It’s a few more minutes on the front end, but will help them so much later on. Perhaps you can ask the other engineers if you can shadow them a little and learn exactly what they do each day. From there, you can pick up areas where you could help. Maybe it’s order supplies. Sending drawings to contractors. setting up DHL services or something of that sort? If they have exceptionally messy desks or piles of papers, see if you can organize them or scan for them.August 29, 2017 at 3:10 pm #698723
Thanks for all the responses. Okay I’ll try to keep giving this place a chance. I know 3 weeks isn’t enough time to decide if this job is right for me. I think what gets me feeling upset the most is that I feel like I’m such an outsider here. For example today my team all went out to lunch and didn’t invite me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care. I know many of you will say, well why don’t you ask them out to lunch. I’m too shy to do something like that. I’m not an extreme introvert, more just have situational shyness. I’m not trying to play the victim or not act like a grown woman as one of the responses said. I have tried to engage with them and whenever I do they all get quiet. Ughhhh. I can’t stand it. I know works not meant to be making best friends, but I’d like to at least be included if they are all going out to lunch. Engineers seem to be a lot different than other work environments I’ve worked in. They are much more awkward and reserved for the most part. How do I not take this personal when it feels so personal?